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Wednesday, 27 February, 2002, 15:04 GMT
Survivor returns to ITV
The original 16 contestants battled for 1m
ITV is to show a second series of its reality TV programme Survivor in March but will be hoping for better press and more consistent ratings this time around.

The first series - which featured 16 contestants stranded on a desert island competing to win 1m - was launched in a blaze of publicity last year.

Charlotte Hobrough
Survivor winner Charlotte Hobrough will present
But the programme failed to capture the public's imagination and, crucially, was compared unfavourably in the media to Channel 4 series Big Brother 2.

Charlotte Hobrough, who emerged as the overall millionaire winner, will present a series of Survivor programmes for the channel.

Survivor 2 will make its debut on ITV1 at 2145GMT on Wednesday 13 March, much later than the scheduling of the original series.

Follow up

There have also been a number of significant changes to the format and presentation of the programme.

Survivor moves to Panama from the South China Sea
Contestant numbers have been reduced from 16 to 12 and the number of programmes each week has been cut to two - with one 60-minute special and a 30-minute follow-up.

The studio-based show, presented by John Leslie, which interviewed contestants who had been evicted from the island, has been dropped entirely.

Channel 4's cricket commentator, Mark Nicholas, will replace Mark Austin as the presenter of the main show, while Hobrough will host a fanzine-style show on ITV2.

Although the show was a huge hit in the US, the British version failed to emulate its success.

40 days

At a cost of about 9m ITV was gambling on success and promised the ultimate in reality TV game shows.

Fourteen cameras, helicopters, cranes and underwater cameras were are all employed to bring the 40 days of life on the island to the screen.

Audience figures for the original series dropped after a promising start to five million and although the final was watched by a more respectable eight million viewers the programme was widely seen as a failed experiment for ITV.

The second series has been filmed in Panama.

See also:

25 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Charlotte wins 1m Survivor
25 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Survivor proves a TV dinosaur
26 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
'Modest' ratings for 1m Survivor
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